Can be used on outlets for controlling appliances, lights, and other electronics. The small, single size still allows for the other outlet to be used. Can be used at home or away via the app.
This outlet can only be paired with and controlled by Alexa devices.
Can be voice-controlled by smart devices. Other management features are completed on the Kasa app such as scheduling, countdowns, and away mode. Separate outlets have grouping ability for more seamless control. Safety functions include flame retardant shell and reduced risk of electric shock.
Setup can be a little difficult, according to a few users.
Small design that doesn't require 2 outlets. Energy-monitoring capability that helps save electricity. Alexa and Google Assistant compatible. No hub needed and app is free. Two-pack.
Difficult to set up and sync to Alexa. Tends to drop connection. Subpar customer service.
Features a streamlined design that doesn't need 2 outlets. Doesn't require a hub. Voice-control compatible with Alexa. Free app is easy to set up and customer support is attentive.
Higher price — only get 1 for the price. Issues with the app crashing have been reported. Not as energy-efficient as some competitors.
Can be paired for voice-control features with Amazon or Google smart devices. Small enough for the second outlet to be used while it's plugged in. Works with the Govee app for scheduling appliances and lights for personalized control. Made with a flame resistant material.
Not the most streamlined compared to similar devices. A few customers reported difficulty in connecting,
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Smart plugs are an easy and affordable way to add some intelligence to your home. Plugging them directly into an outlet will give you basic control over nearly anything you plug into them. Using an app on a tablet or phone, you can easily turn items on and off and control more settings with certain devices.
In order to be smart, the plug needs to connect to the internet via a WiFi network for remote control. How "smart" a plug is ultimately depends on its features. Common capabilities include energy monitoring, away modes, and automated scheduling.
To start researching which smart plugs will give you the most control inside your home, we have included a detailed guide that lays out all of the important information and considerations you need to know. It also has a list of some of the top smart plugs you can check out directly.
Smart plugs greatly simplify home automation, and at a cheaper price than replacing all your devices, but they only give you partial control over certain appliances. The primary function of a smart plug is to simply turn the electricity on and off — a great feature for lamps, but not what you need to make your refrigerator “smarter.”
Once you connect a device to the smart plug, the type of switch on the device determines how much control you’ll have.
If you have a device that makes use of a mechanical switch, it will work fully with a smart plug. The mechanical switch can be a physical toggle switch with an “on” side and an “off” side, just like a light switch. Or a mechanical switch can be a knob that you turn like on a floor lamp.
If you’re unsure what you have, try plugging in and turning on the device. Then unplug it for a few seconds before plugging it back into the outlet. If it turns on again without you touching the switch when you plug it in, the switch is mechanical.
This means you’ll be able to turn it on and off with your smart plug app. Just plug the device into your smart plug, leave the device on, and control the power via the smart plug app.
An electronic switch is usually a single button that you press to both turn on and off the device. To test a device, follow the same steps we outlined earlier. If the device does not turn back on when you plug it in again, it has an electronic switch.
The electronic switch always reverts to the off position whenever it loses power. So, when it’s plugged into a smart plug, and the smart plug cuts the power to it, the device with the electronic switch reverts back to the off position. This means you’d have to manually press the button on the device to turn it on again.
You can use this device with a smart plug, as you can turn it off with a smart plug app. However, you cannot turn it back on later with the app.
Smart plugs do offer a few features in addition to their basic on and off functionality.
Smart plugs with “away” mode offer a bit of extra home security by providing the illusion that someone is home. When set to this mode, the plug turns on and off at different times throughout the day. If the plug controls a light, from the outside it appears that your house is occupied, which may deter intruders.
Ever wonder how much electricity a certain appliance is using during the day? Many smart plug apps can help track the power usage.
Through the app that controls the smart plug, you may be able to schedule the smart plug to turn on and off at exact times.
A. The smart plug connects to your WiFi network, allowing you to control the connected device remotely, and schedule it to meet your daily patterns.
A. The smart plug doesn’t actually control the power switch itself. When you plug an electrical appliance into a smart plug, you also switch the appliance to the “on” position. That switch is actually on all the time. To control the device, you turn the smart plug on and off through the smartphone app, rather than turning the actual appliance on and off.
A. If you already use some smart home devices or a networking system, check for compatibility with your smart plug options. If all your devices work through the same system, you’ll only have to manage scheduling in one app.